1. Thailand Mai Pen Rai means "Never Mind"

    Mai Pen Rai means “Never Mind” Tim Hartigan TEFL/X, Thailand Group 95 (1989-1991) Questions borne of tragedy define generations of Americans. “Where were you when…Kennedy was shot?” was followed by “…the Challenger blew up?” and then “9/11 happened?” Buffalonians of a certain age also define ourselves by a much smaller traumatic question: “Where were you when the Bills lost their first Super Bowl?” I got to my Peace Corps site in rural northeastern Thailand in 1989. Part of my...

  2. Bangladesh Momentum

    I go back in time, to a surreal memory. The Peace Corps experience was nearly 6 years ago, but the experience still feels close. When I receive e-mails from friends and colleagues, I feel like I’m no longer the Adam they once knew.  After returning to the States – returning to the chaotic hum of other people’s lives -- I never fully reflected on my time in Bangladesh.  I can do that now. Walking down the street in Bangladesh workers yelled from behind, pushing large carts down unpave...

  3. East Timor Talk to a peace corps trainer: Giving up.

    It seems like my whole life was about sitting in training, itching and wishing I had something to eat.  This was a mixed blessing because the rash and the starving were the only things keeping the afternoon swelter from putting me to sleep.  Every so often I would tune back in to our shocks and sandal training coordinator to make sure I didn’t miss something I thought was relevant.  I was excited when I heard his normally hopeful voice drop an octave and become brittle.   I wait on these ...

  4. Mongolia Holy camel

    Bactrian Camels are abundant in the Gobi.  I met this particular camel at a camel polo competition.  He had been recently blessed by a buddhist monk and therefore for the remainder of his life, would not be used for labor, sport, or killed for meat.

  5. Mongolia Murun's Monastery

    Buddha watches over the town.

  6. Mongolia Christina and Chingiss Khan

    Ice Festival at Lake Khuvsgul

  7. Mongolia Taiga Home

    A fellow volunteer and I went to the Taiga to visit the reindeer people or Tsaatan Khuun. This was Jijii, the son of our tour guide, outside his traditional home, with it's not so traditional sattelite dish.

  8. Thailand About a Girl

    Prologue: A Good-Smelling Woman is Hard to Resist Girls complicate things. This is a well known cross-cultural phenomenon. Anthropologists all over the world have conducted field studies, and the one thing they agree on is, Women are crazy. This theory has been verified to such an extent as to become anthropological law, or, more precisely, a series of laws. The Laws of Women: The First Law of Women states that all women, without exception, are nuts. The Second Law of Women states ...

  9. East Timor Love and Handwriting

    There is not a word in English or Tetun, the ancient agricultural language of Timor, that describes how the Timorese teachers at out training feel about my handwriting.  All of the teachers turn in evaluations or the rare assignment they use an exquisite cursive script.  It looks like everything they write is an invitation to a wedding.  And here’s me with a fetid, scurvy, mush of letters better suited to tearful break ups and serial killers.   Horrified does not cover their distaste, la di...

  10. East Timor Knock Knock.

      Today my Alim Cansio had a bunch of friends roughly our age over.  They had two big containers of palm wine.  Cansio killed a chicken and tossed onto the coals of a fire feathers and all.  It cooked quickly and dried out.  Soon we were breaking off delicious stringy meat and drinking. The day was too hot for drink and soon I was loopy.  Cansio’s friends kept quizzing me about life in America.  I scrolled through my foggy mind for something interesting and decided to explain knock knock jok...

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“Sunset at the Railroad” by PCV Nicholas Baylor Hall. Namibia, 2011.